Abura-Meerdink, Gloria

PhD Candidate
Contact Information Areas of Interest and Expertise
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Humanitarian Crises and Displaced Persons
  • Social Services Deployment in Resource-Restrictive Contexts

Previous Education

  • Master of Science, Clinical Psychology, Makerere University, Kampala-Uganda.
  • Bachelor of Community Psychology, Makerere University, Kampala-Uganda.

Background and Experience

Prior to joining the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2019, Gloria was based in Uganda, where she worked as a clinical psychologist conducting both clinical and research related work. Her previous research experience has involved collaborations with the RAND corporation in the United States, Mildmay Uganda and Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda, where between 2014 to 2017, she coordinated the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Funded Project R01 “Improving Treatment Adherence among Adolescents Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda using SMS Reminders.” Other research collaborations were between New York University and the Department of Psychiatry at the College of Health Sciences in Makerere University, where she coordinated a National Institute of Mental Health R21 funded project in 2018, providing technical support in the development of a preventive mental health digital tool kit to be utilized by community health workers to address mental health challenges among young children. She has also worked on prior NIMH R21 funded projects with New York University in the capacity of Co-Investigator and Clinical Trainer between 2013 to 2015, implementing a school-based child mental health prevention program where over 60 teachers and 15 mental health professionals were trained as community health workers to implement evidence-based strategies of the Parent Corp model in the classroom setting in Ugandan schools.  This work consequently resulted in the implementation of another research project between 2015 to 2018, “Teacher Implemented Parenting Program in Ugandan Schools” through testing the task shifting implementation approach. She has partnered with the Ministry of Health in Uganda and the Department of Psychiatry at the College of Health Sciences through three separate yearlong project cycles funded by Grand Challenges Canada to train mental health workers from Gulu, Pader and Kitgum Districts in Northern Uganda to address mental health issues of HIV positive individuals and survivors of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) war.

Gloria also ran a private practice in Uganda treating children, adolescents, and adults with mental health challenges and continues to provide consultation services to mental health organizations in Uganda.

Volunteer Work

  • I-HUG International, Kampala, Uganda. Conducting Psychosocial Group Sessions for Female Sex Workers operating in Kabalagala, Kampala District (2013).
  • Community Volunteer at St. Joseph’s Church, Mulago Parish, Kampala- Uganda (1996- 2006)


Keng-Yen Huang, Janet Nakigudde, Dana Rhule, Joy Gumikiriza-Onoria, Gloria Abura, Bukky Kolawole, Sheila Ndyanabangi. Transportability of an Evidence Based Early Childhood Intervention in a Low-Income African Country: Results of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Study. Prevention Science, Volume 4 (2017).

Keng-Yen Huang, Gloria Abura, Rachelle Theise, Janet Nakigudde. Parental Depression and Associations with Parenting and Children’s Physical and Mental Health in Sub-Saharan African Setting. Child Psychiatry and Human Development (2017).